The foundation stone of seven handloom common facility centres at Kardhana in Sevapuri block in Varanasi was laid by H. E. Governor Uttar Pradesh Ram Naik today. Union minister of state for textiles (independent charge) Santosh Gangwar who was also present planted saplings at the site of Trade Facilitation Centre and Crafts Museum at Bada Lalpur and interact with intellectuals at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
On the occasion, the Governor recalled the laying of foundation stone of Trade Facilitation Centre and Crafts Museum in Varanasi by Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, on 7th November, 2014. He said that work has commenced on this front, and that visible progress will be made soon. He added that there is a need for the weavers to adapt their ways of working, in accordance with latest technologies and changing market demands.
Addressing the gathering, the Union Textiles Minister said that a National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) sub-centre is being planned in Varanasi. Talking about the Common Facility Centres, the Minister said that the Centres will help Varanasiâ€™s one lakh weavers in upgrading their skills and thereby in empowering themselves. Recalling the words of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, Shri Gangwar said that schemes such as this serve to fulfill Pandit Deendayalâ€™s dream to bring the fruits of development to the last mile, based on the principle of â€˜Sabka Saath Sabka Vikasâ€™, espoused by the Prime Minister.
The Central government had announced establishment of Trade Facilitation Centre and a Crafts Museum in Budget 2014-15 to develop and promote handlooms, handicrafts and silk products of Varanasi and to provide necessary help to weavers, artisans and entrepreneurs for boosting their marketing activities in domestic as well as international markets and carry forward the rich tradition of handlooms.
The main handloom product of Banaras is saree, but recently there has been a thrust towards product diversification and weavers have ventured into making dress material, stoles, scarves, made-ups like curtain, cushion covers, table cover and napkins.
The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) which is having experience in running/managing Expo Mart at Noida and is actively involved in trade promotion of handicrafts has been nominated as the implementing agency for setting up of TFC & Crafts Museum, which is proposed to be set up with an outlay of Rs 200 crore and is expected to be completed by January 2017.
The Hindustan Steelworks Construction Limited (a Government of India Undertaking) has been appointed as construction agency.
As per handloom census 2009-10, there are 37,331 handlooms and 95,439 weavers in Varanasi. The handloom and handicraft products of Varanasi have got wide recognition all over the country and abroad for their highly artistic design, colour combination, superior craftsmanship and long durability.
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